Monday, March 1, 2010

New Skates

How thrilling to have a new pair of skates. I have always loved ice skating, and treated myself to a new pair of skates this year -- combined birthday and Christmas money, which was waiting for me when we got back -- thanks mom!  Last Sunday Gabe, Kai and I took the new skates (and their slightly used ones) out on the Red River Skating Trail for a spin.  In  our absence, Winnipeg re-invented the river trail, and set up a massive competition last year with the Rideau Trail in Ottawa, to handily win the title of longest river trail in Canada.

The groomed trail winds 8.54 km from the Hugo Dock (Osborne area) on the Assiniboine, flows east toward its junction with the Red, and continues south and east along the Red River to the bottom of Hay St., the street that crosses Baltimore -- the Churchill Dock, at the foot of Churchill High School (Nicole's new school). The Forks Corporation is responsible for much of the maintenance and promotion, down to using a vegetable oil powered Zamboni to make sure the trail is as smooth as can be given its outdoor setting.   A lot of fun -- beats skating round and round in an arena, although that has an allure of its own.  I remember going back to the Hans Brinker story, thinking about skating on the Dutch canals, and wishing for the same. Childhood memories of skating on the local creek, my cousin's pond, and the lagoon by the Lake at Firelane 1.   Best of all, Nicole, who has had a challenge balancing on skates, recently received the gift of a pusher designed especially for her by the Rehabilition Centre for Children in Winnipeg.  It's a hot red colour, and lets her feel confident with her ability to move around on two thin little blades.  Cheers to the Rehab Centre.

 Vegetable Oil Powered Zamboni

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